As Seen On TV: Life-Saving Transplants

The Alliance for Paired Donation is a nonprofit organization that created the first-ever chain of kidney transplants between strangers, matching donors with compatible recipients. This is an attempt to shorten the waiting time for kidney transplant patients -- a potential donor who wants to give a kidney to a friend or loved one, but is not a biological match, is paired with a suitable recipient.

The National Kidney Foundation is a comprehensive resource on kidney disease. Their "A to Z Health Guide," the Kidney Disease Guide, covers a wide range of areas, such as treatment, nutrition, causes, planning for emergencies and much more. The Kidney Transplant page gives an overview of the operation, treatment options and associated complications, like rejection.

Interested in becoming a kidney donor? Check out the National Kidney Foundation's Question and Answer booklet, which outlines what to expect, explains the surgery and criteria for candidates. They also encourage donors to get all the facts, and outline four steps to consider before becoming a donor.

The Alliance for Paired Donation has matched altruistic donors with strangers since July 2007. Learn more about how their organization works.

To find Alliance-partnerned hospitals who perform kidney donations in your area, check out the map.

Want to get involved in other ways besides transplant? Make a donation to paireddonation.org and find out what other steps you can take, like donating blood, or signing a Uniform Donor Card.